Constantia’s history dates back to 1685, when Simon van der Stel named his property after the daughter of the benefactor who granted him a farm nestled beneath a picturesque mountain range. The lush setting and moderate temperatures bode well for farming and van der Stel set to work planting orchards and vineyards.
Constantia is thus the oldest wine-producing region in the Southern Hemisphere – with an uninterrupted history of wine making that spans over 300 years.
Having subsequently been subdivided into smaller farms, Constantia Uitsig is now one of a select handful of wine estates that together make up the Constantia Valley Wine Route.
Once the setting for some of the Cape’s most loved and respected restaurants, as well as a popular Hotel and Spa, Constantia Uitsig is now home to a brand new restaurant in the old River Café premises (called Open Door), a new Wine Shop and a Bike Park for cycling enthusiasts.
For more fascinating facts about our past, read about our Valley of 1000 stories.
Not only uninterrupted, Constantia’s history is also internationally admired. Muskadel from the Constantia Valley won acclaim during the 18th century from famous authors, poets and statesmen alike. Napoleon Bonaparte had as much as 1,126 liters of the Cloete family’s Constantia wine shipped in wooden casks each year to his home in exile on St Helena from 1815 until his death in 1821. And in Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen’s character Mrs Jennings recommends a little Constantia for “its healing powers on a disappointed heart.”